Gun Rights Restoration in Virginia
An Overview of Restoring your Firearms Rights in Virginia
Gun Rights Restoration Who is Eligible to Have Their Gun Rights Restored?If you have lost your right to own or posses a firearm, commonly due to a felony conviction, you may be able to have your gun rights restored through the courts. This requires that your other civil rights (voting, right to serve on a jury, right to hold public office) have been restored by the Governor. It is important to know that having your civil rights restored by the Governor will not have restored your firearms rights.
What is the Process?A person who has had their other civil rights restored by Governor can petition the Circuit Court in the County or City where they live to have their firearms rights restored. Federal law recognizes the restoration of gun rights granted by the states. Virginia cannot restore gun rights that Virginia did not take. This is important to keep in mind if you lost your firearms rights in federal court, or in another state. Another common area where this may occur is when one loses their right to own or posses a firearm due to a domestic violence conviction regardless of the court of conviction. It is federal law that does revokes your firearms rights in this case, not state. Therefore, in Virginia, you will in all likelihood not be able to restore firearms rights lost due to a misdemeanor Domestic Violence conviction.
What is the Standard?The standard is "for good cause shown." This is a somewhat ambiguous phrase. There is not much case-law on the subject. But there is enough to gather some guidance from. You will want to establish that the conviction(s) was/were a long time ago. The Court is going to want to know that your charges were non-violent and did not involve a gun. If so, you will have an uphill battle. You will want to show that you have been law-abiding since the charges. You will want to show some positive rehabilitation- what have you done to make a change since the charges.